Major League Baseball (MLB) demanded an apology from radio host Colin Cowherd on Friday, one day after the ESPN personality made disparaging comments about the intelligence of Dominican players. Speaking on his nationally syndicated ESPN radio show on Thursday, Cowherd suggested baseball couldn’t be “too complex” because “a third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.”
“Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game. Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology,” the MLB said in a statement quoted by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Cowherd made the comment during a discussion of whether it was possible for an executive in a baseball team’s front office to successfully transition to a role as an on-field manager. Specifically, Cowherd talked about Dan Jennings, the Miami Marlins general manager who was also named the team’s interim manager after Mark Redmond was fired in May.
Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please
— Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) July 23, 2015
“It’s baseball. You don’t think a general manager can manage? Like it’s impossible? The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities,” Cowherd said, according to ESPN.
Cowherd attempted to clarify his comments regarding Dominican players on Friday, stating he “could’ve made the point without using one country.” The radio host said his assertion about the education levels of the Dominican people were based on statistics.
“It wasn’t a shot at them. It was data. Five, seven years ago, I talked about the same subject. Was I clunky? Perhaps. Did people not like my tone? I get it. Sometimes my tone stinks,” he said.
Approximately 10 percent of the MLB’s players in 2015 are natives of the Dominican Republic, USA Today reported. Cowherd’s remarks also drew a sharp rebuke from Tony Clark, former professional baseball player and executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
“As a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, I can assure you that our sport is infinitely more complex than some in the media would have you believe. To suggest otherwise is ignorant, and to make an ignorant point by denigrating the intelligence of our Dominican members was not 'clunky' -- it was offensive,” Clark said.
Cowherd confirmed this week that he will leave ESPN later in 2015 when his contract expires. He has reportedly accepted a role with Fox Sports, the details of which are not yet clear.